# of pages: 330
Quote: “‘Careful, though—she likes tearing apart soft flesh.’
Revel wanted to argue that his flesh wasn’t particularly soft, then considered it from an alternative perspective. Dancing, drinking, lolling about—he wasn’t exactly a Hercules.” – Revel “Like a Bat Out of Hell” pg. 109
Official description: Death. Who has not considered their own mortality and wondered at what awaits, once our frail human shell expires? What occurs after the heart stops beating, after the last breath is drawn, after life as we know it terminates?
Does our spirit remain on Earth while the mortal body rots? Do remnants of our soul transcend to a celestial Heaven or sink to Hell’s torment? Are we offered choices in an individualized afterlife? Can we die again in the hereafter? Is life merely a cosmic joke, or is it an experiment for something greater?
Included within this critically acclaimed anthology are answers to these queries alongside tales and suppositions relating from traditional ghosts to the afterlife of e-coli. Explore the afterworld of an Australian cowboy. Discover what the white light really means to the recently departed. Consider the impact of modern, or future, technology on the dead. Follow the karmic path of reincarnation. Travel from the 999th level of Fengdu’s Hell to the gates of Robot Heaven.
Enclosed are thirty-four all-new dark and speculative fiction stories, individually illustrated by Audra Phillips, and exploring the possibilities “after death.”
My opinion: Alright fellow bloggers, this would be a perfect read for the R.I.P. Challenge! I was very impressed with the quality of writing. I wondered if it would be, with it being short stories from multiple authors, but each story was very well written. My favorites were “Like a Bat Out of Hell” and “Mall Rats.” I enjoyed the different, thought provoking perspectives of what could possibly happen after death. Each story is an original peep hole into the “other world” – each story’s version being unique. For example, “Like a Bat Out of Hell” is about what happens to mythical characters after their time on Earth has passed. If those creatures had existed, what happened when the world moved on and stopped believing in them (keeping them alive)?
I highly recommend this to lovers of dark fiction or horror stories. Keep in mind that it is an anthology of short stories (perfect for a short story challenge as well as R.I.P.!). It is obviously dark just because several of the stories mention the death of characters or describe “hell,” so if you struggle with depression you may want to skip or at least take it slow and possibly pick and choose stories.
Why I gave this book 4/5 stars: Well written, original, thought provoking short stories. The only reason it isn’t five stars is because I’m not going to lie, some of these were difficult for me to read (the whole depression thing?) and this is my personal opinion after all.
Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I’d be happy to post yours as well.